[Cross-reactive allergen clusters in pollen-associated food allergy].Hautarzt. 2003 Feb; 54(2):130-7.H
Immediate symptoms caused by allergens without previous primary sensitization are commonly based on cross-reactive IgE antibodies. They are responsible for pollen-associated food allergies, i.e., fruit allergy in cases of birch pollen allergy or allergy to celery and spices in cases of mugwort pollen allergy. Similar structures between the major allergen of birch pollen (Bet v 1) and a variety of pathogenesis-related proteins from the same family (PR-10), abundant in hazelnuts, fruits, and vegetables, have been well established. Other candidates are profilins, ubiquitous panallergens with little clinical relevance, and stable lipid transfer proteins, responsible for systemic reactions predominantly in Mediterranean countries. Depending on stability, dose, and resorption of these proteins, clinical symptoms are limited to the oro-pharyngeal cavity or develop systemically far from the site of allergen exposure. Clinical diagnosis is based on a positive case history with corresponding allergic sensitization to pollen allergens. Targeted skin testing with native products (i.e., prick to prick test with fresh fruits) appears to be superior for unstable allergens compared to commercial extracts. Individuals should be familiar with cross-reactive patterns; however, allergen avoidance is only recommended in cases of clinical symptoms.